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District Volunteers Donate Time to Second-Dose Vaccination Clinic

Columbian's principal and D60 Superintendent post at the vaccine clinic For Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso, Executive Director of Human Resources Eric DeCesaro and his wife Betsy, principal of Haaff Elementary School, this particular Friday began bright and early.

So too for Mike Bayer, Director of School Culture, Wellness, and Safety, Michelle Alcon-Montoya, principal of Columbian Elementary School, and many other Pueblo School District 60 representatives.

The work that brought out the D60 team of volunteers was yet another crucial step in the return to fully in-person instruction: administration of the second, and final, dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Three weeks after a mass clinic at the Southwest Motors Events Center on the Colorado State Fairgrounds saw more than 1,600 educators and support staff receive the vaccine, the Pueblo Mall-based indoor and outdoor drive-through site drew a voluminous number of those eager to finish the process and become further protected against the virus.

Recognizing the importance of the task at hand, the district representatives served in a variety of non-medical roles to ensure a seamless, and hope-filled, operation.

“It’s my pleasure to come out and volunteer my time to this important event,” Superintendent Macaluso said. “This is getting us one step closer to keeping our schools open and getting our kids fully in-person instruction.

“It’s energetic, uplifting and everybody is happy to be here. It’s a great day.”

Randy Evetts, Pueblo’s Public Health Director, was in agreement.

“This is the conclusion of what we started at the Events Center,” Mr. Evetts said. “We’re very excited about this day: this is an incredible step for having our teachers be safe, getting our kids back in school and getting our economy back on track.

“This is an amazing milestone.” 

Inside the giant bays that served as the heart of the clinic, the mood was upbeat as a host of vaccinators and volunteers greeted each patron with a hearty dose of congeniality.

“I’m excited to finally get this process over,” said Christina Baca, a D60 secretary, as she rolled up her sleeve to receive the vaccine. “This is another step to getting us back to 100 percent capacity everywhere, and ensuring that our older people don’t worry about getting COVID.

“And the clinic has run really smoothly: I’m impressed.”

Superintendent Macaluso praised the “social interaction” aspect of the operation. Mike Bayer helps direct traffic at the vaccination clinic

“It’s actually kind of fun,” she said. “We haven’t been able to visit our schools as much as we’d like to so this is a chance for us to interact with our educators – many of whom we haven’t seen in a while –and thank them for the tremendous job they do for our kids.”

As the man at the forefront of the district’s COVID response team, Mr. Bayer – whose clinic duty centered around traffic control – knows very well the continued need for diligence in the ongoing fight against the virus.

“Anytime you can give back to the community, you should take the opportunity to do so,” Mr. Bayer said. “Especially working for the school district, working with our own, to make sure they are vaccinated and can do the work that they need to do in our schools.

“But it’s extremely important to continue to follow the protocols that are out there to make sure we all can get out of this together.”

Mr. Evetts said that 1,100 of those who received the first dose signed up for Saturday’s clinic.

“But we’re prepared to vaccinate up to 1,700 if we need to,” he said.